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    Sunday: Phil Ogylvie's Rhythm Kings
  1. St. Louis Blues 3:46
  2. Ida 4:31
  3. Alexander's Ragtime Band 3:31

    Monday: The Paul Keller Orchestra

  4. Blues On The Side 5:21
  5. The Best Is Yet To Come 5:00
  6. Our Monday Date 4:49

    Tuesday: Tad Weed's Freedom Ensemble

  7. Cowboy Poetry Dance 6:15

    Tuesday: The Cool Moose Orchestra

  8. Listen Here 5:15

    Wednesday: The Paul Keller Ensemble

  9. Stay Tuned 5:20
  10. Love Nest 4:03

    Thursday: Los Gatos

  11. Arinanara 3:06
  12. Aunque Tu 3:56
  13. Picando De Vicio 3:07

    Friday: The Easy Street Jazz Band

  1. What's The Use
  2. Big Butter And Eggs Man 3:57
  3. Amazing Grace 4:46

Total Program: 72:42

A Week In The Life Of The Firefly Club

This CD is an expression of thanks from the house musicians of the Firefly Club to Susan Chastain, owner of the Firefly Club, for all that she does to keep jazz alive in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The 45 or so house musicians of the Firefly Club have banded together, donating their time, talent and money to produce this compilation CD featuring the seven groups that perform regularly at the Firefly Club. The proceeds from the sale of A Week In The Life Of The Firefly Club go directly to support the operating budget of the FFC. Susan has created a beautiful home for these many musicians to work, entertain, learn, develop, socialize and bond. For all that she has done, the musicians honor Susan Chastain with this recording.

In addition to her many duties running the Firefly Club, Susan also sings with several of the bands that appear there weekly. So, rightly, her vocal abilities are prominently displayed here on five of the tracks. The FFC hosts an array of outstanding local and national jazz acts throughout the year but this CD spotlights the seven bands that perform there week in and week out.

A Week In The Life Of The Firefly Club was recorded LIVE at the Firefly Club November 13-23, 2007 by Leigh Daniels. A Week In The Life Of The Firefly Club was produced by Sean Dobbins and Paul Keller. The CD was mastered by Connor Otto. Photography was graciously donated by John Lilley and Tim Nolan and the graphic design for the CD booklet was done by Glenn Tucker. Susan, Sean, Paul and the FFC musicians wish to thank Leigh, Connor, John, Tim, and Glenn for their generous gifts in support of this project and the Firefly Club.

Sunday: Phil Oglivie's Rhythm Kings (PORK) founded and led by sousaphonist Chris Smith and pianist James Dapogny play first generation big band music from 1925 to 1933. They have selected for this CD three great arrangements that typify their jubilant style. W. C. Handy's famous St. Louis Blues is the perfect opener and romps along with bravado. Ida (Sweet As Apple Cider) was composed by Eddie Leonard in 1903. Believe it or not, this is not the oldest song on this CD as you will shortly discover. Trombonist Gene Bartley delivers a heartfelt vocal of this "oldie but goody". Irving Berlin's first big hit Alexander's Ragtime Band is next. This one is from 1911 with an energetic 1931 arrangement by Archie Bleyer. PORK hits on all 10 cylinders on this track. These three songs will surely make you want to come check out PORK every Sunday afternoon from 5:00 PM till 8:00 PM


Phil Ogylvie's Rhythm Kings

 

 



The Paul Keller Orchestra

Monday: The 15-piece Paul Keller Orchestra
has performed at the FFC every Monday night since 1989. That's almost 1,000 gigs! Monday big band nights with the PKO has become a beloved Ann Arbor tradition. The PKO opens with an original piece by their pianist Duncan McMillan called Blues On The Side which features trumpeter Paul Finkbeiner and saxophonist Bobby Streng.
Duncan is an excellent pianist and arranger and has contributed many great charts to the PKO library. Blues On The Side shows off the PKO's powerful and clean ensemble playing, excellent jazz solists and swinging rhythm section of string bassist Keller, drummer Pete Siers and pianist/arranger McMillan.
The next two tunes showcase vocalist and empress of the FFC Susan Chastain. Cy Coleman's and Carolyn Leigh's The Best Is Yet To Come is another wonderful Duncan McMillan chart that has lots of solo space for lead alto saxophonist Keith "El Kamino" Kaminski. Kaminski has been a member of the PKO for 15 years! "El Kamino" is simply the best! The title of this track is an appropriate mantra for the PKO in that after 19 years of great gigs at the FFC, The Best Is Yet To Come. Earl "Fatha" Hines didn't know when he composed Our Monday Date back in 1927 that he wrote the perfect weekly reminder for fans of the PKO: "Don't forget our Monday Date!" This Paul Keller arrangement, one of several dozen big band charts that he has created for Susan, features trombonist Terry Kimura and a chorus from the PKO's leader and self-proclaimed President For Life.
Tuesdays are shared by two different bands that play once a month: Tadd Weed's Freedom Ensemble and the Cool Moose Orchestra.

Tadd Weed is an amazing and creative pianist who leads his quartet through adventurous modern jazz compositions that always thrill and delight the listener. Tadd Weed's Cowboy Poetry Dance is a perfect example. Front and center are Weed and saxophonist Andrew Bishop walking sideways on the walls and turning the musical tables in unexpected and wonderful ways. They are backed here by the great bassist Nick Calandro and FFC stalwart drummer Pete Siers.

 


Tad Weed's Freedom Ensemble


The Cool Moose Orchestra

The Cool Moose Orchestra is Ann Arbor's amazing student-organized big band, led by saxophonist/pianist/arranger Glenn Tucker. Glenn is a truly gifted 19 year-old musician. He has written over 50 big band charts for CMO and has produced two fine CDs on the PKO Records label. Here the Cool Moose Orchestra plays Eddie Harris's Listen Here. This is a funky and surprising rendition that will make you shake your head in disbelief that it was arranged and performed by such young musicians. The Cool Moose Orchestra's monthly gig at the FFC is an example of Susan Chastain's dedication to young musicians and jazz education but their awesome talent easily justifies their place in the regular schedule at the FFC.

Wednesday: The 7-piece Paul Keller Ensemble plays every Wednesday at the FFC. Over the years at the FFC the PKE has created a library of several hundred original arrangements for sextet, many of them featuring vocalist Susan Chastain singing songs from the Great American Songbook. The PKE's steady gig at the FFC has allowed them to grow in hundreds of ways including the creation of special sets dedicated to their jazz heroes Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Morgan, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, as well as their own original material. On this CD the PKE performs two selection. Stay Tuned is a high-energy, minor key bopper composed by Paul Keller and dedicated to our dearly departed auto mechanic Woody of Woody's Stay Tuned Auto Shop. The second PKE tune is another one sung by Susan: Love Nest (another Keller arrangement) was the theme song for the George Burns and Gracie Allen radio and TV programs.


The Paul Keller Ensemble

Every Thursday is Latin Jazz Night with Los Gatos. Los Gatos is the brain-child of drummer Pete Siers and features vibraphonist Cary Kocher, pianist Brian DiBlasio, congero Al DiBlasio and the fantastic string bassist Kurt Krahnke. Los Gatos takes its cues from Cal Tjader, Joe Cuba and Tito Puente. Los Gatos excels in fiery mambos, sensual boleros and beautiful Cuban-style coro vocals. This band is dedicated to making their regular crowd of dancers happy with their patented blend of authentic Latin inspired rhythms and tight arrangements. Here Los Gatos plays and sings three excellent tracks: They start with the catchy up-tempo Arininara by Chano Pozo. Continuing with the romantic Aunque Tu delivered soulfully by vocalist Al DiBlasio, they close with the cheerful Picando De Vicio.


Los Gatos

Friday afternoons at the FFC feature another happy tradition. Paul Klinger's Easy Street Jazz Band plays for the Dixieland and Traditional Jazz Happy Hour. This popular weekly event is attended regularly by young and old alike. A favorite band of families, Paul Klinger welcomes kids, students, parents and seniors to enjoy the Easy Street Jazz Band's joyful presentation every Friday from 5:30 PM till 8:00 PM. Paul puts a lot of thought and energy into every performance. He includes musical salutes to special historical events and birthdays, making for interesting and educational entertainment for all. Here, Klinger has chosen Isham Jones' lesser known tune What's The Use and two more familiar selections with vocalist Susan Chastain Big Butter And Egg Man and Amazing Grace (words by John Newton in 1772 and music by William Walker in 1835).


The Easy Street Jazz Band

Please enjoy this retrospective of the weekly events at the Firefly Club. Better yet, come to the Firefly Club any night of the week and enjoy the music LIVE! You'll want to return again and again.

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